Online shopping tax bill could leave shoppers paying more

Posted at: 04/24/2013 4:54 PM | Updated at: 04/24/2013 6:34 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri | WHEC.com

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Heads up online shoppers. Pretty soon you could be paying more for everything you buy. It's called the Marketplace Fairness Act and the bill has support from both parties.

Right now, if you shop online from a store without a brick and mortar location in New York State, you wouldn't have to pay sales tax. For example, companies like IKEA and Amazon. But the Marketplace Fairness Act would require every company that does more than one million dollars of online business to charge you sales tax.

Online shoppers News10NBC spoke to say while they don't love this news, they do understand why businesses would want this to happen. We spoke to a local bike shop owner who says while he does sell items online, he will be exempted. But as a business owner, he supports the change.

For more than 20 years, Andy August has been in the bike business. He says the Marketplace Fairness Act is a good thing for businesses like his.

Andy August, Park Ave. Bike Shop Owner, said, “Basically, I think it would be a good thing. I think it would be nice to level the playing field and have online retailers collect online sales tax. A lot of people come here cause they can try, and try on and see what they are buying, which is a big benefit to buying locally, but obviously, prices are a big factor.”

August does sell some of his products online to keep up with the shoppers desire for convenience, but mostly he sells from inside his shop. August explains why he thinks it would level the playing field.

August said, “It would bring our prices a lot close, or almost the same, as online retailers. I think a lot of people use to make the decision to buy something online to save the 8% sales tax.”

August said the only down side he sees is the fact it will add a burden on businesses to file sales tax, but overall, he says that is just paperwork and he is for it still.

Senator Chuck Schumer says he is in general support of the act, but says it is too early to comment further.

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